Motorola fires back against Microsoft in patent dispute

Motorola fired back against a patent lawsuit by Microsoft
A view of the Motorola booth at the International CTIA Wireless 2010 convention in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 2010. Motorola, the target of a patent lawsuit by Microsoft, fired back against the US software giant with a patent infringement complaint of its own on Wednesday.

Motorola, the target of a patent lawsuit by Microsoft, fired back against the US software giant with a patent infringement complaint of its own on Wednesday.

Motorola said its subsidiary, Mobility, has filed suit against in US District Courts in Florida and Wisconsin alleging infringement of 16 Motorola patents.

Motorola accused Microsoft of patent infringement in its and , its Windows Mobile operating system and the Xbox videogame console.

Motorola's action came a day after Microsoft filed suit against Motorola in Washington state accusing the US handset maker of demanding "excessive and discriminatory" royalties related to patented technology.

That suit came a month after Microsoft accused Motorola of violating its smartphone patents.

Motorola said it had asked the courts in Florida and Wisconsin to stop Microsoft from using Motorola's and provide compensation for past infringement.

"We are committed to protecting the interests of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders and are bringing this action against Microsoft in order to halt its infringement of key Motorola patents," said Kirk Dailey, corporate vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility.

"Motorola has invested billions of dollars in research and development to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology," Dailey said.

He said it was "unfortunate" that Microsoft has filed patent infringement litigation against Motorola "rather than entering into comprehensive licensing negotiations."

Microsoft's suit filed Tuesday alleged that Motorola was in breach of an agreement to license patents related to wireless and technologies under "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions."

Microsoft filed suit against Motorola on October 1, accusing the US handset maker of violating nine Microsoft patents in smartphones powered by Google's Android mobile operating system.

Microsoft supplies its own mobile operating system to handset makers and a new line of Windows Phone 7 smartphones went on sale in the United States this week.

Patent lawsuits are a regular occurrence among technology giants and Motorola is currently suing Apple for patent infringement. Apple has hit back against Motorola with a patent infringement suit of its own.

Apple is being sued by Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia for and has fired back with a countersuit against Nokia.

Taiwan's HTC and Apple are also currently suing each other over patent claims involving Android-powered phones.

In June, Canada's Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry, and Motorola reached a settlement to their long-running patent disputes.

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(c) 2010 AFP

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User comments

Nov 11, 2010
The patent laws were never meant to perpetuate this sort of madness.

Nov 11, 2010
Are you sure about that?

Nov 11, 2010
Patent laws were put in place by lawyers who, evidently, are the only ones making money, win or lose... I am in the wrong profession!

Nov 11, 2010
Lmao oh my, in my opinion Microsoft deserves it especially after all the patient infringement suites they got slapped with in the past few years you'd think they wouldn't be as jerkish about it in return. I say well played Motorola.

Nov 23, 2010
Indeed, patent litigation has become almost "de rigeur" among the tech heavyweights. Two resulting concerns are, of course, (1) issues of antitrust, and (2) actual innovation getting sort shrift in favor of, as some have put it, "the biggest patent patent portfolio." Thank goodness USPTO Director David Kappos has reportedly made a commitment to maintaining high patent quality, in the midst of this patent arms race. Let's hope he and his agency stick to their guns.

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